MacPara Muses flying at Glamis Dunes

The Muse is a very popular beginner wing for good reason. It is easy to inflate and has very good handling, a marked improvement over earlier beginner wings that students quickly tired of. The model I flew was probably an original Muse and they’ve come out with the Muse II which probably improved on things. 

Handling (6): I was surprised at how sporty this was for a beginner wing. Light brake pressures and good responsiveness make it a joy to fly. Letting the trimmers out increases the required pressure but it’s still decent. And you’ll need those trimmers if you’re flying with buddies (see speed).

This handling makes it not ideal for a “school” training wing since ham-fisted flying on launch or landing could become deadly.

Inflation (5): When I first got my hands on a Muse at the 2000 Albuquerque grasslands fly-in, I’d heard about its easy inflation. Indeed kiting was a dream and it came up easily. Plus it was responsive with brakes alone. You can right a dipping wing without stepping sideways as much as others. But on my first launch the wing came up then fell back. Hmmm. My Silex doesn’t do that. It did it again on my second launch. So I turned around and simulated launches. That’s when I figured out that there is a caveat to its inflation ease.

If the wing starts to fall back the least bit, it’s over, coming all the way down. Knowing that I had no problem but pilots need to know about it. Stay on the A’s until it’s fully overhead and/or launch with the trimmers at a faster setting.

Efficiency (4): This is a slow wing that does not glide quite as well as others. Sink rate is reasonably low so the power required is not bad but, if you fly with friends, you’ll have to let the trimmers out and give up that efficiency.

Speed (3): I could not do a GPS test but have flown with enough pilots who are slower than most even though they’re heavily loaded. Get the smallest wing you’re comfortable with to reduce this issue.

Construction (5): They are lightly built but certainly sufficiently strong. One big beef is those infernal magnetic clips used on all MacPara wings. Iron laced sand gets in the magnetic brake keepers, rendering them useless.

Certification & Safety (8): The 25 through 33 sizes are certified DHV 1 which makes them eminently well suited for new pilots.

Overall: The Muse is a great first wing AFTER training is done, one that new pilots can enjoy until it wears out. If you fly with other pilots, though, you may be disappointed by the speed unless you’re heavily loaded (over the weight range).